WASHINGTON RESIDENTS AGAINST WOLVES

WA Wolf Plan

In 2011 the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife produced the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan that was to act as a guidance document for how to manage wolves coming into the state.

However, the plan has not been followed with any consistency over the last two years. Below are some excerpts from the document outlining the overall recovery plan, as well as details regarding where WDFW anticipates wolves will live and what they will eat to survive.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES (PG. 9)

  • Restore the wolf population in Washington to a self-sustaining size and geographic
    distribution that will result in wolves having a high probability of persisting in the state
    through the foreseeable future (>50-100 years).
  • Manage wolf-livestock conflicts in a way that minimizes livestock losses, while at the same
    time not negatively impacting the recovery or long-term perpetuation of a sustainable wolf
    population.
  • Maintain healthy and robust ungulate populations in the state that provide abundant prey for
    wolves and other predators as well as ample harvest opportunities for hunters.
    Develop public understanding of the conservation and management needs of wolves in
    Washington, thereby promoting the public’s coexistence with the species.

Three recovery regions were delineated for the state:

  1. Eastern Washington
  2. Northern Cascades
  3. Southern Cascades and Northwest Coast.

Target numbers and distribution for downlisting and delisting within the three recovery regions are:

To reclassify from state endangered to state threatened status: 6 successful breeding pairs
present for 3 consecutive years, with 2 successful breeding pairs in each of the three recovery
regions.

To reclassify from state threatened to state sensitive status: 12 successful breeding pairs
present for 3 consecutive years, with 4 successful breeding pairs in each of the three recovery
regions.

To delist from state sensitive status: 15 successful breeding pairs present for 3 consecutive
years, with 4 successful breeding pairs in each of the three recovery regions and 3 successful
breeding pairs anywhere in the state. (This will result in 97-361 wolves, pg. 66)

In addition to the delisting objective of 15 successful breeding pairs distributed in the three
geographic regions for 3 consecutive years, an alternative delisting objective is also
established whereby the gray wolf will be considered for delisting when 18 successful
breeding pairs are present, with 4 successful breeding pairs in the Eastern Washington
region, 4 successful breeding pairs in the Northern Cascades region, 4 successful breeding
pairs distributed in the Southern Cascades and Northwest Coast region, and 6 anywhere in
the state.

WHERE WOLVES WILL LIVE:
Land Ownership of Potentially Suitable Wolf Habitat in Washington (PG. 61)

Land ownership of potentially suitable wolf habitat (≥50% probability of occupancy, modeled by B.
Maletzke, using Oakleaf et al. 2006) was determined for each of the wolf recovery regions in
Washington (Figure 11, Table 3).

The majority (64%) of this habitat is on public land, varying from 53-87% per region. The U.S. Forest Service is the primary administrator of these lands, both statewide and in each recovery region (Table 3).

The National Park Service and Washington Department of Natural Resources are other significant public landowners supporting extensive amounts of potential wolf habitat, especially in the Northern Cascades and Southern Cascades and Northwest Coast recovery regions.

Private lands (particularly those owned by private timber companies) comprise 27% of the state’s potential wolf habitat, with the most extensive area occurring in the Southern Cascades and Northwest Coast recovery region. Tribal lands comprise 9% of potential wolf habitat statewide and are especially significant in the Eastern Washington recovery region.

WHAT WOLVES WILL EAT (pg. 114):
Fifty wolves may kill about 425-630 elk and 700-1,050 deer per year, with annual take doubling for 100 wolves (see Table 13 for an explanation of these estimates). These levels of predation could result in noticeable effects on elk and deer abundance in some localized areas occupied by wolf packs, but should not have broad-scale impacts. These levels of loss potentially represent 1-2% of the state’s elk population and less than 1% of the combined deer
population. With larger populations of wolves, greater numbers of ungulates would be removed.


To read more details, click on the link below to open the entire document:

Wolf Conservation and Management Plan

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